First aid box is a container with medical supplies/medicines which are intended to provide medical treatment often in an emergency and even by non-medical people. This can be set up in any container which is clean, dry and closed to keep the contents dry and safe. International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) states to put a symbol of first aid on the box which is a white cross on a green background. There are commercially available first aid boxes which are available containing all the essential supplies required, however, this can also be set up at home with common medical supplies.
Contents of first aid box:
An antiseptic solution like Savlon/Dettol is an essential part of any first aid box. Alternatively, antiseptic wipes can also be included. These help clean any wound or cut. These can also be used to clean skin surface before and medical/surgical intervention. Before dressing up the wound, it is important to apply antiseptics thoroughly t.o avoid the formation of pus.
Dressing material is required to cover a wound after the initial cleaning. These can be gauze pieces, band-aid, gauze roll, cotton swabs. A micropore also helps to fix the gauze over a wound. Adhesive wound dressing helps in the treatment of jointed or contoured areas in the body.
Povidone iodine solution is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. It cleans the wound/skin by killing bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa. To use betadine antiseptic solution, make sure to Clean the wound with water as best you can. Now gently rub the solution around the cut and wait for 15 minutes before dressing.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
This is useful in wounds which are dirty. It act by its oxidizing property to kill the microorganism and also raise the dirt above the wound surface and facilitate cleaning it. Further, it is known to aid in the removal of phlegm, mucus, or other secretions associated with occasional sore mouth.
The first step in providing first aid is personal protection. A pair of sterile gloves is essential for providing safety to the caregiver in providing first aid. It is important to wear gloves not just to protect over selves from blood and HIV but also from the fluids and infections from the patient. They provide sterility to process of cleaning and dressing wound preventing secondary infections.
6. Sterile Saline
Sterile saline is an eyewash solution that is used physically wash the eyes when contamination by foreign materials or substances has occurred. It gently washes the eye and provides sensitive and moisture replenishing relief for eyes when infected by any foreign germ or particle.
The most common use of scissors in first aid kit is for cutting dressing materials, gauze and sometimes even adhesive bandages to an appropriate length. In case of accidents, scissors can be used for cutting away clothing to expose injured areas to be able to treat wounds better. You must buy stainless steel polished medical scissors and bandage scissors to help when cutting bandages and gauze.
Temperature of the body is indicative that there is a significant change in your body that probably requires medical attention. Therefore, thermometer is a first aid kit essential as it is used to measure body temperature and helps in objectively grading the intensity of fever. The most common type of thermometer is mercury thermometer.
9. Pocket mask
Pocket mask is a first aid kit essential as it provide forced breaths in Basic Life Support. You may consider buying CPR pocket masks as they have an inflated tube that creates an airtight seal around the nose and mouth which helps you to give breaths to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
First aid boxes can contain over-the-counter medicines like painkillers, paracetamol (for fever), anti-diarrhoeal medicines like norfloxacin/tinidazole, anti-allergics like cetirizine, oral rehydration salt solution (ORS).
Additionally, it can also contain a torch, tetanus injection and a few sterile syringes which can be used are medically trained personnel.
It’s never too late to complete your first aid kit. It is advised that you must regularly check your kits to ensure everything you need is there; you’ll never know when you might need the contents of this small pouch to save a life.